So great to play music with Dan Strauss, Ted Looby, and Remy de Laroque this past week at Monkey House in Winooski and Bees Knees in Morrissville. It was a treat to hear live their awesome, soul-stirring songs, witness the camaraderie and collaboration among them – it’s a special thing to hear a group of musicians who have been playing together for years. Also mind-blowing to hear a few of my songs getting an instant full-band treatment. I’ve so rarely had this experience, this pleasure, that it was both electrifying and disorienting – in a good way! Dan, Ted, and Remy approach the songs with both tact and authority, easily and instantly trade instruments as they hear what needs to happen. And – they are helpful, supportive, relaxed. But among all the things I appreciated, it was the magical group listening that evidenced in a kind of flow, a knit, a soulful rhythm that wove the audience in, particularly the second night at the Bees Knees. To be even a small part of that “group speak” – I guess that’s a band! – was amazing. I didn’t want it to end.
I’m excited to team up with Ted Looby of Burlington and his cohorts Dan Strauss and Remy de Laroque of Brooklyn to play at The Monkey House in Winooski on Saturday May 23 and and The Bees Knees in Morrisville on Sunday May 24. We will be jumping in on a few songs with each there – keeping all tribes and eras represented with some bluegrass and some of the Boss. The main course, of course, is ….original tunes by Remy, Dan and myself! Speaking of main courses, though… don’t miss the delicious food at The Bees Knees.
…at Radio Bean this Sunday 7:00
This weekend I went to The Dragon’s Egg in Ledyard, CT for Marya Ursin’s annual spring thaw event: “A Journey Through The (Astrological) Stars” at the beautiful Hygienic Art Gallery in downtown New London. I was Scorpio – playing all of its SEVEN animal symbols : a scorpion, spider, lizard, snake, wolf, eagle, and phoenix. How like our own multitudinous selves. We all arrived on Saturday to be costumed! Here I am newly appointed.
One week ago, I got to perform in a new dance theater piece by Avi Waring as part of the Puppets In Education Dance Benefit – a formidable coalition undertaken out of charitable chutzpah, or chutzpathic charity, by mistress of organization and belly dancer extraordinaire Sarah Vogelsang-Card. So many different kinds of dance all in one evening! Thank you very much. Working with Avi on this piece is – too much fun to be allowed – and, like snowboarding downhill straight into a new and outrageously ribald universe. And you know me…well yes, even I am wondrous! Here we are at rehearsal: Avi, Willow Wonder, and Maura Gahan in the presence of the “Trunk” out of which all Pandora arises – at Polly Motley’s studio in Stowe. (We do, in fact, basically sled to get to this studio. Dance in Vermont – gotta love it.)
Drove into town and saw some music. At Juniper’s, a solo guitarist, at Skinny Pancake a solo guitarist then a solo banjoist with loop pedals and electric tricks. Caustic and wired, somehow picky, angsty – it made me tense! The first musician at Juniper’s was calmer – he was doing mostly covers, and tentatively offered an original. I liked it. I walked in on a Jackson Browne tune: “If you can hear me, turn down your radio.” The level of technique and detail each one brought was really amazing but I ask myself, what does it get me? Impressed, I guess. But it wasn’t contributing to the thing I really want, which is to be moved by the music and moved by the individual standing up there. It’s them I want to get to know. A song is a vehicle for punching through.
Make me think, or give us time to be together, here right now together, with this music. We want to be – suspended – like honey in tea, hanging above, or in, or under. The rest is ambition talking in the form of filigree. Detail serves, up to a point, for sure. And it can in the best instance become everything if it is pure, selfless. Guys like the Allman Brothers can push this kind of rigor to its own ecstatic purpose – but it’s very hard to do. Takes soul or total emptiness. God can be in the details but often she has a head-ache; those details can be so self-involved and boring. We musicians should all take note.
…the magic of the Dragon’s Egg…Meredith, Jeffrey and Sharon post show…we are in shock at how the audience stole the show away from us and how much we loved it!